Salt Encrusted Tri-Tip

This is another wonderful recipe that is a variation of something Michelle “Cheffy” Horton taught me.  (No one really calls her that, but I might try to start!)  She graciously served me a salt encrusted beef tenderloin once and it was wonderful!  However, tri-tip is a much less expensive cut off beef and something I have around the house regularly so I went for it.  Below are the mouth-watering results. 

Salt encrusted involves making a salt dough that’s not unlike homemade play-dough and wrapping your meat in it to cook.  You don’t get to eat the dough, I don’t recommend trying like it my sister, though it was pretty hilarious.

Oh!  And I’m pretty sure this specific salt dough ingredient list was once on Alton Brown’s Good Eats and has since been passed around, so props to the awesome man with the wispy hair from the Welch’s commercials.

Salt Dough Ingredients:

  • Fresh thyme and sage.  (Anywhere from 2 tablespoons to “yeah that looks good.”) Chopped.
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 5 egg whites beaten with 1 1/2 cups of water

Other Ingredients:

  •  3-4 lbs. tri-tip (will serve 4+ leftovers for french dip/tacos/etc., mmmmm.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Step One:

Chop herbs, add half plus all your dry stuff to one large bowl.



Dry stuff



 Step Two:

Add water/egg white mixture slowly.  I like to use my hands to mix it until it’s an even consistency.  Sometimes I have a little of the dry stuff leftover, but not a lot.

Ready to chill, or to make play-dough shapes 🙂

Step Three:

Place dough in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.  I usually make the dough in the morning for that evening’s dinner.

(Why would I put a picture of dough in my fridge?  Don’t get greedy.)

Step Four:

Sear all the edges of the meat in a skillet with the olive oil for about ten minutes, then let it rest for five.

Not the prettiest picture, but you get it.

Step Five:

Pre-heat oven to 400-425 degrees farenheit, depending on how hot your oven runs.  Roll out the dough about a 1/4 inch thick, then sprinkle the remaining herbs on the dough and press in.

Step Six:

This is where I place the meat in the center of the dough and I wrap it up LOOSELY, sealing it up with a seam down the middle.  Any excess dough I trim off and since I’m not an expert, I usually wind up using it to patch a hole or two.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, but you want a nice seal so you don’t lose those awesome drippings. 

Also, if you want to rub the tri-tip with a little kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, feel free.  It’s a matter of taste.

Note my patch job in the right corner. Ah, well.

Step Seven:

 Bake your tri-tip until an internal temperature of 138 degrees farenheit.  Then let it rest in the dough for 30 minutes, it will continue to cook in the dough.

Step Eight:

I highly recommend trying to open the dough at one end and then sliding the meat out with tongs or a large fork, then you can pour the drippings into a bowl for gravy.  If that can’t be managed, open it in something that will catch the juices.  Slice and serve!

This is where I dropped the ball and didn’t take a picture of the tri-tip whole because I was so excited to eat it!!!!  But here is a picture of my plate:


You can tell by the cutting board that it was hugely successful!

We served it with garlic mashed baby reds, asparagus and a garlic french roll.  It was tasty!


Here are the happy people who joined us!







About pageturnershollow

My life is in constant motion and sometimes I just need to take a moment to breathe. I have learned to laugh at the hardest parts or my life and move on with optimism. Most days around here end with laughter.
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